Islamophobia Awareness and Safety Conference 2015

November 27, 2015 2 Comments »
Islamophobia Awareness and Safety Conference 2015

An event organised jointly by the Hamara Healthy Centre and the Muslim Community Safety Forum (MCSF) took place on Tuesday 24th November in Leeds

This event was free and included lunch and refreshments – it was instrumental in developing a joined-up approach, which brought together policy makers, statutory agencies, local authority officers, Police, youth & Education providers. The event was free and took place on Tuesday 24th November, from 12pm – 4pm, at the Hamara Healthy Living Centre, LS11 6RD.

Key note speakers were :

Chair – Kauser Jan who shared the background of MCSF and the rise of Islamophobia, statistics and issues of the lack of reporting.

Shahab Adris , Regional Manager of Muslim Engagement and Development – who discussed Islamophobia, causes, cases and statistical data relating to the widespread issues that Islamophobia has and is having in Education, Employment and justice.

Rose Simkins – Chief Executive , Stop Hate – Who discussed data, the importance of reporting , the process and the support available for victims of religious and race hate crime.

Sean McDonald Police Hate Crime Coordinator – who discussed the importance of working collectively with MCSF and other agencies. He shared how The Safer Leeds partnership wants to encourage reporting at the earliest opportunity and to prevent hate incidents from escalating into hate crimes. Whilst we aim to see an increase in the number of incidents recorded, we are also working to drive down the number of hate crimes occurring.

Sally Kincaid : Wakefield and District NUT- Islamophobia & Education Discussed the importance of unity , challenge and impact of Islamophobia on communities, cohesion and education.

Feedback from the conference

We have received overwhelming positive feedback from the attendees – Shahab Adris stated ‘ Well done to the entried MCSF team for organizing such an important event on addressing Islamophobia and looking for ways collectively to tackle it. If we are to realize Leeds and West Yorkshire as among the best cities in the world we need to tackle all the issues facing all communities in the city. MCSF alongside it’s partner organisations such as MEND have a vision to make Leeds a safe and hate free city., where all can progress, contribute and flourish without any recourse to prejudice or discrimination’

Well done MCSF for raising the consciousness of issues relating to Islamophobia and safety. We need to unite as one and tackle prejudice and speak up , report and reclaim our city’ Sally Kincaid Wakefield And District NUT

‘I think the thanks need to go to yourselves for organising such an event, to be honest!’

Steve White, Regional Organiser, NASUWT Yorkshire & Humberside said ‘The need for both considering the issues and looking at positive ways of addressing them has never been so great in my view. As a teacher of 25 years plus and now a teachers’ trade union official, I feel both for staff and their pupils and the challenges they face day-to-day in dealing with a heavily biased media that seem from the outset intent on fanning any embers of hate to a full blown blaze. What messages do we really want to send to our youngsters? What kind of society do we really want them to grow up into? And why should everything be a battle with so much energy spent in dealing with the aftermath caused by such actions, when our resources should be spent in building a safe and friendly place for everyone?The event was extremely useful for me, outlining the problems that exist, putting them in concrete irrefutable terms and considering the impact on ordinary people.

It was also necessary in continuing the necessary dialogue and search for ways of addressing the issues – and of course, in my line of work I do believe work in education and with young people will make a massive difference.’

Rose Simkins, Stop Hate UK:

“Stop Hate UK recognise the hostility and Hate Crime issues affecting Muslims. It is very important that people are aware of the support available to report incidents and how to access vital services when dealing with Hate Crime.

In Leeds, Stop Hate UK provide a 24/7 Stop Hate Line service, which can be accessed via phone on 0800 138 1625 and also by text, webchat, email, online form and text-relay. People contacting the service will receive specialist advice from trained operators, providing immediate emotional and practical advice, as well as onward referrals to partner agencies.

We have key partnerships with a wide range of agencies, working together to raise awareness of hostility and hate crime, including those subjected to Anti-Muslim hate crime. We are very clear in sending out a message that we stand together to tackle intolerance and hostility and we support anyone affected by such issues.

Hate crime, of any kind, causes damage to those affected and the wider communities of our city, therefore, we all have a responsibility to report any kind of incidents that we witness.”
Please download the full press release HERE

For any further information, please contact:

Kauser Jan (Chair)-

Tafazal Mohammed




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